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Man dies in Bourke crop-duster crash

Grain Central, February 12, 2024

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the fatal incident at Bourke. Photo: File

THE AUSTRALIAN Transport Safety Bureau has commenced an investigation into the death of a man following a light aircraft crash at a farm near Bourke on Saturday.

Emergency services were called to the scene at about 7.50am with officers attached to the New South Wales Central North Police District locating a crop-dusting aircraft that had crashed into a field.

The pilot and sole occupant of the aircraft, a 47-year-old man, was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics but died at the scene.

Initial investigations indicate the man was conducting aerial spraying when the aircraft collided with the ground, coming to rest inverted.

A crime scene was established and is being forensically examined.

A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.

The ATSB deployed a team of three transport safety investigators from its Canberra office, with expertise in human factors, aircraft maintenance, and operations.

On site investigators will conduct a range of evidence-gathering activities on site, including site mapping, wreckage examination, and recovery of any aircraft components for further examination at the ATSB’s technical facilities in Canberra.

The ATSB will release a final report at the conclusion of the investigation.

There is no early indication of what may have caused the light plane to crash.

An ATSB report found a large bird striking the windshield of an aircraft was the cause of a fatal crash involving a crop-duster in September 2022.

Occurring near Chinchilla in the western Downs, the large bird hit the aircraft while flying about eight-feet above ground level.

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